Further South

May 14, 2022

We’re heading south along the Dalmatian Coast. Garbunkle (our trusty — rusty? — GPS) keeps barking in my ear: “Keep left! Keep left!”

I’m not sure where she thinks we’re going. Of course I’m going to keep left. If I move more than about three feet to the right, we’re headed off the cliff and into the Adriatic Sea.

Okay, to be fair, there is occasionally a driveway that goes off the side of the road and down the cliff to a home that is beautifully set seaside. But it’s a driveway. And there’s really only the main coastal road, known as Route 8 or the Jadranska Magistrala, running along here, so I don’t really need to be reminded to keep left.

The weather is warmer but not summer yet. It’s upper 70s and low 80s Fahrenheit. Clear skies and dry conditions as we pass through small seaside villages. Outside of Brela is a billboard that reads “It’s All Brelative”. I could definitely spend a lot more time there. Less tourists, nice looking place.

Packs of Italian supercars with Croatian flag decals on the hoods pass by heading north.

Thirty or forty miles north of Dubrovnik, we pass a large new bridge that is still under construction.

After decades of politics, planning, etc, almost finished, but not quite yet…

This bridge will connect the main part of Croatia with the peninsula that juts up from the southern part. In between the two parts is the Neum Corridor, a stretch of land that connects Bosnia with the Adriatic Sea. Since the bridge isn’t finished yet, we have to cross through Bosnia at this narrow section and back into Croatia on our way to Dubrovnik. It’s a very quick passport check entering Bosnia, and just a wave through re-entering Croatia.

Thirty minutes later and we’re in Dubrovnik. The city hangs on the side of the rocky hill. The original Old City walls and towers, where many parts of Game of Thrones was filmed, sits below on the water. Large yachts and tourist boats make their way between the islands off the coast. Our apartment for the next two nights is on the hillside, up a steep switchback road. It has a terrace which is about half the size of the apartment, overlooking Dubrovnik and the sea. It’s the most we’ve spent for lodging so far, at $70 a night; above our budget, but a rare treat. It’s been a long time and many countries ago that I paid $70 to stay in a place with a full kitchen, a complimentary bottle of wine, and a large terrace overlooking a gorgeous town and islands. It’s a relative bargain by tourist standards, but it’s above our budget, and as I’ve preached before, each dollar we save today extends our future travels.

After unloading the bike, we walk to the end of the street to the local market and buy bread, cheese and meats for dinner, and sit on the terrace with our host’s wine, enjoying the sunset. Tomorrow we’ll hike the walls and tour the old city.

Overlooking the walled city of Old Dubrovnik at sunset from our terrace high on the hill.